Is it just me or does the summer make you want to eat and drink more than usual? I swear, every sunny day I just want to sit outside with a glass of wine and a delicious snack. Truthfully, any type of weather makes me want to eat and drink, I just come up with excuses to make myself feel better. However, there is something so relaxing about sitting outside with music, wine and appetizers in the summer.
My brother and sister-in-law happened to be the lucky winners to join me for dinner on a day where I was feeling a little adventurous to try something new. I was Pinteresting all morning during my daughter’s nap time and decided I wanted to make something light and fresh. Something that was a bit of an indulgence, but not too bad for me since I’m not trying to wear a full body suit into the water this year. (I try to cut out most carbs and dairy during the week so I can make myself feel better about my poor choices on the weekend.) So while Pinteresting, bruschetta kept popping up and it looked SO good. I haven’t had bruschetta in forever, possibly even before Sophie was born. Well, the weather was perfect here in Maryland (again with excuses) so I said, meh, I better treat myself. My husband and brother weren’t coming until later in the evening so I decided I needed something I could make ahead of time that would last for a few hours without getting soggy. There was a recipe for bruschetta with blackberries, ricotta and honey that looked AMAZING, but I didn’t have blackberries so I improvised. I figured what’s more refreshing than lemon and basil? Nothing, that’s what. So I played it by ear and I’m happy I did! First of all, it’s hard to top grilled crusty bread, but when you add a cheese to the mix…game over.
These little bites were so tasty and incredibly simple to make. The ricotta was super light and the lemon gave it a clean and fresh taste. I love a little spice, so I added a pinch of cayenne to the ricotta mixture to kick it up a notch. I topped them with fresh basil and a drizzle of local honey just to make them a bit more heavenly. The bruschetta held up really well for a few hours while my sister-in-law and I waited for our husbands to get to my house (although it was hard for us not to scarf them all down within seconds.) I’m still learning self-control. I’m the type of person that gets anxiety when someone leaves one bite on their plate. If you do this, I’m not sure we can be friends.
The bruschetta was a hit! My first bite I wasn’t sure what to expect because I don’t love ricotta on its own, but they were so good! They are exactly what I want to snack on while sitting on the patio with a glass of wine. This is my new go-to recipe for dinner parties or get-togethers this summer. I still want to try it with fresh fruit mixed in, so I’ll post an update when I give it a shot! They are so versatile, you could really add anything to the ricotta mixture and it would be great! (If you don’t like ricotta you could probably use whipped cream cheese for a similar flavor!) I’m telling you, you’ve got to try them!
Ricotta and Lemon Zest Bruschetta with Fresh Basil and Honey
- 1.5 Cups of Ricotta (I used part-skim, but I’m sure whole would be even better)
- One Lemon – Zested
- Fresh Basil
- Ground Cayenne Pepper (Just a shake or two, depending on how much heat you like)
- Pinch of Salt and Pepper (to taste)
- 2 TBSP Olive Oil (For brushing on the bread before grilling)
Use a mixing bowl to combine the ricotta, lemon zest, cayenne, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Preheat your grill to about 450 degrees or until the grates are very hot. While the grill is preheating slice your baguette into 1-1.5 inch pieces. Brush both sides with olive oil and place them on the hot grill. Grill for about 2-3 minutes per side. You want nice grill marks but don’t cook the bread too long that it becomes a crouton. Transfer the pieces to a platter and spread a thin layer of the ricotta mixture on each piece. Top with freshly torn basil leaves and a light drizzle of honey.